Experimental Limits on the Photon Mass and Cosmic Magnetic Vector Potential

Phys. Rev. Lett. 80, 1826 – Published 2 March 1998
Roderic Lakes


A novel experimental approach based on a toroid Cavendish balance is used to evaluate the product of photon mass squared and the ambient cosmic magnetic vector potential A. The method is based on the energy density of the vector potential in the presence of photon mass, not on measurement of the magnetic field. The experiment discloses Aμγ2<2×10-9T m/m2, with μγ-1 as the characteristic length associated with photon mass. Consequently, if the ambient magnetic vector potential is A1012T m due to cluster level fields, μγ-1>2×1010m. If we conservatively use galactic fields prior to a reversal, then μγ-1>1×109m, a figure still superior to that derived from the Jovian magnetic field.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.80.1826

  • Received 2 June 1997
  • Revised 11 December 1997
  • Published in the issue dated 2 March 1998

© 1998 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Roderic Lakes

  • Department of Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 147 Engineering Research Building, 1500 Engineering Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706-1687

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